Australians are familiar with standard beach-resident, the Blue Bottle, but what do we really know about them?
Thankfully, scientists of the American ocean ship Okeanos Explorer have demystified the existence of these deep-water creatures a little further. The researchers, who study climate change and oceans in The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, have made a video exposing the movements of the Siphonophora species and it's nothing short of incredible.
Scientists used an advanced piece of technology, 'The Deep Discoverer' to dive over 6,000 metres into the ocean and capture videos of marine creatures. Here is the result, thanks to The New York Times.
Siphonophora belong to the Cnidaria group, which includes corals, hydroids and jellyfish. There are approximately 175 known species in this family. Some types of Siphonophora are the longest animals in the world and many are bioluminescent, meaning they glow in the darkness of their deep-water environments.
Among the most poisonous of these is the Portuguese Man O' War, or Blue Bottle which can be found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. These are the kind are found frequently in Australian waters. Excellent.
Unlike jellyfish, Siphonophora are not single animals but, multicellular organisms that are made up of individual animals called zooids or polyps. They then attach to each other psychologically as a means of survival. In this way they function similarly to an individual animal.
The team work however, doesn't stop there. Siphonophora are known in the scientific world for creating the 'Curtin Of Death' to trap their prey. Their tentacles, which can grow up to 42 metres in length, hang next to each other to poison their victim. The venom, which exists in each tentacle, is powerful enough to kill an entire fish.
Going to war and loosing the battle - A fish caught in the delicate net of deadly tentacles from the Portuguese man-o-war pic.twitter.com/ZusI1c83fT— Sheree Marris (@ShereeMarris) February 27, 2017
Siphonophores like the Portuguese Man-o-War are actually compound organisms composed of many individual animals. pic.twitter.com/63jyuUapVd— *D*A*N*G* I d'un kno (@drunken_mic) February 6, 2016
Who would have thought those pesky, often frightening Blue Bottles, could be so complex and so cool in many ways.
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